Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

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My story – Food adventures of Thanis Lim

It’s been a long journey for this food blog. I started out writing this blog as a cooking journal to share recipes and cooking tips for friends while I was studying in Australia. I must admit I began my journey as a foodie with humble beginnings – relying a lot on cooking magazines and websites for my food adventures. Blessed with a good mix of multicultural friends, I had the exposure to different types of cooking techniques and ingredients readily available in Australia.


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After I graduated and moved back to Brunei, my cooking style had to adapt to use more locally available ingredients, allowing me the creative motivation to combine and fuse culinary boundaries. The root of my cooking lies in using the freshest available local produce from Borneo and incorporating them into my cooking using East versus West cooking techniques. My fascination with cooking shows and food science, watching and reading about great chefs such as Heston, Thomas Keller and David Chang, as well as reality TV series like Iron Chef, Master Chef and Top Chef, inspired me a great deal. It was this period in which I experienced the most growth as a foodie, constantly experimenting with new ideas in my kitchen – the Thanis Kitchen.


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A big change in my blogging style in Brunei was when I started to do restaurant reviews, which became an integral part of my blog. Informing the public on where to eat and what to eat became a passion of mine. This was during the blogging boom in Brunei, bloggers became popular figures in Brunei, but I wasn’t one of them – I was enjoying my blogging – behind the spotlight.


My passion for cooking

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An invitation to cook in Fadillah’s kitchen was a big honour and motivated me a lot as a foodie. For this dinner, I cooked olive oil poached seafood, sous vide eggs with miso butter and asparagus, chicken satay pizza, Nyonya Dry Curry Pasta, Thai Style Marinara and finished up with Chocolate Lava Cake and White Chocolate Almonds and Marshmallow Pizza.


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Fadillah is a man I really respect, as both Bunny and him are very talented foodies as well, creating many recipes, delicious and beautifully presented! He has also organized many foodie events and challenges in Brunei – which I’ve participated, enjoyed and won a few of them.


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One of the fun bake sales at his place~~ which I cooked these Japanese Style Marinated Octopus Tempura on a stick, as well as tasting portions of my fusion pastas. They were all sold out that day!


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I have won four cooking competitions to date. One of them was during a special event to support breast cancer awareness in Brunei. Foodies baked tons of desserts for this event – and I have to admit – a lot of yummy desserts were consumed that day ~~ I won it with my chocolate lava cake with shaved white chocolate and kuih sapit, served with vanilla ice cream, while also doing a live demonstration in the kitchen.


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Pasta has always been my favourite dish to cook; in all three other challenges, my pastas always come out in the top three. My fusion pastas such as Nyonya Dry Curry Pasta came first in my very first cooking challenge, much to my surprise, while the Kuching Laksa Pesto Pasta, came first in my second challenge and my Thai Style Marinara came third. The most memorable was my final challenge, in which my Golden Salted Yolks Carbonara won second place while my Sour Plum Vinegar Lamb Stew won me a ticket to Melbourne, the first prize! I have to thank Fadillah and Reedah (anakbrunei) for giving me the chance and motivation in these cooking challenges. They are a big inspiration and catalyst to what I have achieved today and I thank them deeply from the bottom of my heart, and stomach.


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Being a judge in National Cooking Competitions was another experience for me as well. I had the pleasure of working with Chef Salvo, from Sorisso, which I dare to say is one of the best restaurants in Brunei. It was a great experience for me as a food blogger. I also judged the Healthy Campaign for Laneige Brunei, tasting creative healthy Korean themed food!


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Judging at the Taste of Australia Cooking Competition with Internationally renowned Chef Jake Nicolson recently in collaboration with Australian Embassy and Brunei Australia Alumni


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Selling Pasta during fairs can be a fun experience for me – when I was invited to sell my pastas at a few of the collective art events in 2014– they sold out  within an hour to 90 minutes. The Four Kings of Thanis Kitchen. Blue Cheese Walnut and Spinach, Nyonya Dry Curry Tuna, Thai Style Marinara featuring the 6 hour roasted tomatoes and the Golden Salted Yolks Baby Mussels Carbonara. I’ve received very good feedback and I look forward to doing more in the future! 


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I will never forget the many pop up festival sales for Thanis Kitchen where I got very long queues from loyal fans of my food; with a record of selling 600 packs of pasta and 400 croffles within one hour! Thank you very much for appreciating them but as of now – I’m more focused on my social media and blog while focusing only on cooking for friends and family and not doing anymore pop up sales as they take up too much time and energy from me.


My features in Magazines, Newspapers and Radio

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Writing for Breeze, a Sabah based magazine - covering news from Sabah, Kuching and Brunei, was an important part of my life as a foodie. It encourages me to constantly seek out new recipes as their food editor. I’ve been regularly contributing to the magazine for almost five years now! I’ve watched the magazine grow together with Dinoza.


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Above are some shots from Breeze magazine, where they do short introductions about me and what recipe I will be writing about that particular issue. 


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I have also written a few articles on restaurants for BIG (Borneo Insiders Guide) Magazine – a magazine based in Brunei. It was a good experience working with Pauline, whose a very good editor and a fellow food lover as well. Recently I was featured in their Hari Raya Issue in 2014, contributing my special fusion pasta – the Belutak Carbonara.


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My two full-page featured recipe for Happenings Magazine, a lifestyle magazine based in Kuching – the healthy muffin recipe – is this possible? Do grab a copy when you visit Kuching!


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Being featured in Lonely Planet as the blog to check out for restaurants and food in Brunei was indeed an honour for me. My friend spotted this book while shopping in KL and snap some pictures to show me. Thank you Lonely Planet! It really meant a lot to be featured in such a prestigious guide!


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I’ve seen myself in the National papers for winning cooking challenges or being involved in charity activities but I never thought I would ever be featured! Brunei Times reporter Aliyah interviewed me and I was very surprised to be featured in a three full page spread. A very big surprise for me as I did not expect much from the interview, probably expecting a small column where nobody would see! An online version of the article can be read here!

http://www.bt.com.bn/features/2010/08/21/prudent-foodie


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Featured again in Brunei Times

Read more here: http://www.bt.com.bn/people/2015/09/22/%E2%80%98i-came-i-saw-i-ate%E2%80%99


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Featured in Media Permata, Brunei’s top National Malay Newspaper.


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I would never imagine myself being featured on the cover of a magazine outside of Brunei but here I am for Breeze magazine!


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An exclusive interview of me in popular Inspire Magazine from Brunei


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My feature in BIG magazine about my life as a blogger/social influencer


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I currently also have a talk show with Pilihan FM, Brunei’s National Radio Channel, every Saturday at 10:30 AM which has been going on for the past 3 years! It’s in Mandarin and it will be on travelling, eating and cooking. Be prepared to get hungry and laugh at my terrible Mandarin!

http://www.rtb.gov.bn/RTB_City/02_NetRadio/PilihanFM/index.htm 
Listen to me at 10:30 AM every Saturday!


My Passion for Writing about Food and Travel and as a Social Influencer

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Writing for Brunei’s pioneering food website Love Food Hate Waste was also an important part of my foodie life. For three weeks during the month of Ramadhan, Rano, Kurapak and I actively checked out restaurants every day, taking pictures, enjoying the food and churning out mouth watering reviews of Sungkai Buffets. It was a great two years and I’ve enjoyed my time with them but I had to leave as I needed to focus on my own blog. This was a big step for how Thanislim.com has grown to today.


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My Annual Ramadhan Posts has now grown to get more than 200k monthly views and ranked very highly on Google search for ‘Brunei Sungkai’ making it one of the most popular sources to the best places to eat during the month of Ramadhan. My instagram impressions for this month exceeded 500 thousand impressions per week – making that 2 million views per month on Instagram alone!


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Screenshot of my 500 thousand impressions per week on Instagram during the month of Ramadhan.


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IG stories are a big hit nowadays and it’s a very good marketing tool! Here are screenshots of my Instagram stories hitting 2 to 2.7k views during the coverage for Yellow Cab Pizza Co.


Special events in my life as a Social Influencer

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I would never dream of being invited as a guest speaker for Borneo Bloggers 2.0, so it was a milestone for me. It was a good opportunity to share social media knowledge as well as establishing a lot of new friendships and connections – with Nuffnang representatives, top bloggers of KK and even influential filmmakers such as Jared and Moses – very inspiring!


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This is my first media travel trip - invited by AirAsia and TuneHotels to attend their media and bloggers bash! This was an exciting journey for me as a blogger – as I get to meet celebrities, prominent media and bloggers from around the world!


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TuneHotels KLIA2 Pyjamas Party: Click to read more


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At the AirAsia Red Party in KL ~ Can you spot me? Click to read more


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Celebrity Chef moment: Picture of me with Bobby Chinn during his book signing session in Brunei. I wonder if I would publish my own cook book one day?


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I was chosen as the first Bruneian blogger to be in the Royal Brunei Blogger Program was another important milestone in my life as a food blogger, where I was flown business class to Melbourne to write about the food scene. This picture taken with the excellent three hat restaurant Vue De Monde kitchen professionals will always be a special moment for me. Thanks Royal Brunei Airlines! Read more about the best restaurants in Melbourne: Click here!


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It was indeed an honour to be cooking with Chef Norman Musa at the Kuala Lumpur Big Kitchen Food Festival 2015 when I was one of the invited social influencers by Malaysia Airlines to cover the Malaysia Food Festival!


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Meeting celebrity chefs Florence Tan and Chef Wan were exciting times for me at the KL Big Kitchen and I look forward to more! Thank you Malaysia Airlines!


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Being chosen to be part of Trip Of Wonders to visit Wonderful Indonesia to meet fellow influencers from other countries was another memorable moment I shall cherish forever.
http://www.thanislim.com/2016/10/trip-of-wonders-wonderful-indonesia.html


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I honestly didn’t think I would be selected as most popular influencer( Non-Indonesian Category) in that Trip of Wonders and my fellow Bruneian Gzul as the most active influencer (Non-Indonesian Category). Thank you fellow influencers from Trip of Wonders!


My SEO rankings for Google Search

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The influx of visitors from Google is another big moment for my blog. I’ve devoted my blog to help travelers hunt for food, writing good guides such as my Penang, Hat Yai, Brunei and Sabah food guides! I was very surprised when my friends told me Google searches for food guides for Brunei , Penang, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu, Kelantan, Hatyai showed me coming out as the top website in all three categories! As a food blogger, it is an important milestone for me and is a very big reward for all the effort and hard work put into my blog. It has also generated a lot of international visitors to my blog – as well as local visitors.


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My recent Bangkok Food Guide went viral and was shared more than 12 thousand times on Facebook and received 70 thousand views within one week! A very important achievement for me!


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Thanks to the post – I guess it’s a matter of time before it get’s picked up by Google. Top search for both “Bangkok Food Guide” and “Must Eat Bangkok”!


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More recent screenshots for Taipei, Guangzhou and Hanoi food guides. Thank you Google for appreciating my work! Most recently my Seoul Food Guide was also ranked in the top 3


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Recent statistics – about more than 70k views per month.

 


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Peak month averages of more than 200 thousand views per month! Thank you for your support!


 



Follow @Thanislim on Instagram

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For the latest news on restaurants and dining scene in Brunei – Please follow my Instagram account @thanislim


It would be great if you can follow me @thanislim on instagram where I post micro updates of my food adventures on a daily basis! Catch the latest food updates with me via social media! Or you can add me in twitter @thanislim or Thanis Lim at Google + 



You can also email me for my advertising rates for blog posts, banner placements, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts.  Email: thanislim@gmail.com

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